Letter to my grandson (viii)

It’s the beginning of February 2016 and you are settling into daycare like a veteran. Recently, they had “bubbles”.

Nana Di often blows bubbles for you when you’re in the bath. You love it, often reaching up and letting the bubbles rest on your hand or trying to eat the ones that have come to rest on the side of the bath.

Apparently, you were so overjoyed at the bubbles of daycare that you ran around and gave every child and every adult a great big hug. I wish I could’ve been there to see it.

Last Friday, you are pretty much ready to go home around 5 o’clock (Mum arrives around 5.30), so you found your backpack (which is approximately half your size), put it on and walked around with it on your back.  What a great way of sending a message.

Your vocabulary is expanding, almost every day. You can now say: More, Chippies, (these two are normally together) Tea, Dummo ( for your dummy), Yum, Bike, Car, Bikkie, Ball, Grape and, best of all, Cuddles. You also know when to shake your head or nod when you’re asked a question and have a lovely set of gestures for “Done and dusted.”

Like most small children of your age, you also have a language all of your own. It’s just nonsense words but they are strung together in compound complex sentences. I don’t pretend to be able to speak this language fluently but I give it a shot and always try to reply to you. You seem quite happy with my efforts and will often reply. I’m not certain what I’ve said and probably you aren’t either but that doesn’t seem to be important for us to talk to each other.

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We have a lot in common. Like wearing stack hats at meals.

One particularly beautiful thing that you do at mealtimes is when you have something that you’re enjoying a lot. You lean over towards me and we rest our foreheads together and send each other thought waves about the joys of eating.

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Again like most small children your age, your receptive language, that is the language you understand, is far more advanced than your spoken language.

Yesterday, you were in the backyard throwing tan bark everywhere. The first time you did you looked at me to check my response. I said, “That was good throwing.” And you were off. Later I said, “We’re going to need to sweep this up later.”

About 10 minutes later, you went over to the corner were we leave the broom. It’s about three times your size, not that that ever daunts you. You brought the room over and began sweeping up the tan bark.  One of the things that makes you such a delight to be with is that you want to be like the adults you spend time with and this makes it very easy to teach you things.

 The other interesting element of your receptive language is your ability to read faces. In fact, you started doing this at a very early age and are now very good at it.

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On Monday, you were sitting in your high chair at lunch and suddenly threw one your spoons across the bench onto the floor on the other side of the bench.  We are giving you a lot of practice at throwing and hitting things, particularly balls up and down the hallway so this was just an extension of that activity.

I was sitting next to you as I normally do during mealtimes and you looked at me to gauge my reaction.

I looked at you and frowned and said, “No, we don’t do that.” So you did it again and looked at me again and I frowned again and said,”No, we don’t do that.” Then you picked up a spoon and placed it on the bench in front of you, and looked at me. I said, “That’s a good boy, that’s what we do.”

My bet is that you probably now know it’s okay to throw a ball up and down the hallway but not a spoon across the bench. Time will tell.

Sometimes when Nana Di is changing your nappies, you get a bit exuberant and start kicking. You’ve got particularly strong legs with hugely developed thigh muscles and you can pack quite a wallop. This time you connected. Nana Di said, “No, don’t do that. That hurts Nana Di.” And looked hurt. When she picked you up, you wrapped you arms around her neck and gave her a huge, long cuddle.

There is a beautiful scene in one of our favourite films Love Actually where Jamie (Colin Firth) is driving his housekeeper, Aurélia (Lúcia Moniz), home. The don’t speak the same language so communication is limited.  Driving her home, he is thinking, “This is the best time of the day for me.” She is thinking, “This is the saddest time of the day for me.”

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It’s a bit like that at our place. I’m always sad to see you go. I know I will see you again tomorrow. But I’m sad nonetheless.

 

 

 

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